Greetings! How delicious does that calzone look from this post’s featured photo? We hope you’re hungry, because you have 5 first dates to experience! If you are, YEW recommends that nice calzone while OYABUN suggests Jamaican, and Alexandria Maillot walks us through her favourite desserts. All great options. Read below. Alexandria Maillot – Courtenay, BC Who are your biggest influences? Most of my early influences were, like most, a bias of my parents music collection. My dad was a big fan of bands like Meatloaf, Motörhead and The Stampederes, whereas my mom would often play artists like Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder and Etta James. More recently, though, I have found solace within the sounds of Vashti Bunyan, Blossom Dearie, Melody Gardot, Laura Nyro, Zaki Ibrahim and Juana Molina. With that said, I can’t discount the many long road trips from Northern BC (where I was born) to Vancouver Island (where we eventually settled) where I honed my vocal chops listening to the Lion King and Pocahontas soundtracks back when I was still in diapers. What has been your favourite show you’ve played? Oh dear… I’ve tread a very eclectic and non-linear path in music, being that I started at such a young age. Maybe, my most surreal experience was performing in a massive theatre in Cairo, Egypt for a televised children’s music festival back in 2005. But, more recently- and to not make it sound as if I peaked when I was 12- I played at the Northern Lights Centre during Iceland Airwaves last November in Reykjavik, where the room was only lit by the backdrop of a giant screen which played these incredible time lapses of the Northern Lights. I sat on the ground in front of it and performed unplugged to a room full of attentive listeners. It was pretty cool. What is the best thing about your city? Since I just moved back to Vancouver Island from Vancouver, I’ve been slowly finding my bearings around the Comox Valley. Maybe my favourite thing about Courtenay so far is that it has the best bubble tea I’ve ever had from a little tea store on 5th street called the Tea Centre (they even let me bring my Mason jar and glass straw in to make it extra guilt-free). Oh, and it also has a really great music scene, maybe I should mention that too. That is important. If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be? My initial reaction was to say something simple like chocolate mousse, but I just do not think I can commit to that forever. I’m a big fan of pineapple upside down cake, but I haven’t really had pineapple more than two days in a row. Peach cobbler is always a fun treat, but for 365 days? Who can say? I’m questioning everything now. Anything exciting coming up on 2018? Besides a new album, not really. Marcus Alan Ward – Cleveland, OH What was the first album you purchased? I can’t quite remember the first album I purchased on my own, but the first memory I have of listening to an album was my dad gifting me a CD copy of Led Zeppelin 1. I was around 12 I think. Great experience. Describe your creative process. My creative process varies from project to project and track to track. Currently I’m only working with hardware and analog synths (no computer sounds) on the new record and I like the real time, you-get-what-you-get type of quality. As hardware ages, no one synth sounds the same, and that can be great for unique elements in the music that can’t be recreated. What are you listening to lately? Lately I’ve been digging into Todd Terje – It’s Album Time, Caribou – Swim, Air – Moon Safari, Jay Z – 4:44, and Washed Out – Mister Mellow What are your 3 favourite beverages? Orange juice (with pulp), Water, and Titos + Soda. What are you most excited for in 2018? I’m excited to release new music starting in April, my upcoming tour, and Canadian Music Week of course! OYABUN – Brooklyn, NY Who are your biggest influences? Jay-Z was my biggest influence, being from Brooklyn, him and Biggie were our idols. What is your favourite thing about your city? The culture, there are so many different types of people here you always have an opportunity to learn another culture and a new way of living. Are there any artists you think we should be paying more attention to? NYC artist for sure, we’re a neighbouring city and share so much culture with Canada. Where are some of your favourite places to eat? Jamaican Restaurants. Anything exciting coming up in 2018? I’m releasing videos and music every month, stay tuned! The Ocean Cure – Toronto, ON What is your favourite Toronto venue? Honestly there’s so many incredible spaces that we’ve performed at it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. But some honorable mentions: Sneaky Dee’s, the Rock Pile, Hard Luck. If you could play with any band/artist, who would it be? Definitely A Day To Remember or Silverstein. What was your first show as a band like? With the finalized lineup pretty if we’re being honest hahaha. But seriously it was a lot of fun. And we’ve grown a lot as a band since then. If you were trapped on a desert island what would you want? Instruments. Food. Water. The essentials Who are you listening to right now? Erra, Silverstein, Paramore, Veil of Maya. So many others! Damien from YEW – Liege, Belguim What is your favourite thing about your city? We come from a city, Liege, nicknamed “La Cité Ardente” that we could translate by “The burning city”. People here are very friendly and all occasions are good to have a drink with friends, going to see a show, making music with new people. Musicians intertwine in a lot of bands and there is a true solidarity between them. What are some of your biggest musical influences? We love bands and artists such as Patrick Watson, Villagers, Jack White but also Led Zeppelin or Peter Gabriel. In Belgium there is also a lot of really good bands like Balthazar, Warhaus, J. Bernardt, Absynthe Minded, etc. How have you changed since you started? We have changed a lot ! At the beginning of the band we were 5 members and that was only instrumental music, no voice but a lot of raw energy with violin and electric guitars. In 2013, that changed with the arrival of Jérôme who became our lead singer. We made an album called “The Fall” and Mathieu came also in the band with the Irish bouzouki and the mandolin which give an unique sound to the band. We are now 7 members and we propose a folk rock music with a lot of different influences. What is your favourite kind of pizza? Il Calzone! Here is the definition in wikipedia : A calzone (/kælˈzoʊni/, US: /kælˈzoʊneɪ/ UK: /kælˈtsoʊni/; Italian: [kalˈtsoːne], “stocking” or “trouser”) is an Italian oven-baked folded pizza that originated in Naples. A typical calzone is made from salted bread dough, baked in an oven and is stuffed with salami, ham or vegetables, mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, as well as an egg. Different regional variations on a calzone can often include other ingredients that are normally associated with pizza toppings. What are you most excited for at CMW this year? It’s the fist time that Yew comes in Canada! We are very excited to play in Toronto and to meet Canadian music lovers ! I’m also excited to see some brand new bands like Loma I discovered last year. I also remember a very nice show of Yonatan Gat at the FME Festival.